Yesterday Genesys (owned by Alcatel-Lucent) held an analyst conference to present the latest and greatest about all things this #1 CTI software vendor has to offer. Thankfully, plenty of #staranalysts (seriously?) members were generous in tweeting the information onto the #GenesysAR stream to share with everyone. Yours truly, being a simple amateur n00b blogger, didn’t get to attend this fabulous event at the serene Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, CA. But who needs physical presence when virtual is the trend and telepresence is chic, right? Yet having been to a Genesys G-Force conference where attendees are constantly being fed in a luxurious venue, I sure miss this:
Well, I suppose there is always G-Force Chicago in April… At any rate, what’s an analyst conference without shout-outs, right? Is it like the MTV Music Awards show without the lame jokes, outrageous stunts, and questionable attire…?
All right, onto business. First, CEO and President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Application Software Group, Paul Segre, took the stage to ease concerns about the recent restructuring and reorganization. It’s all about leading:
While that may hold true, the last time I checked Wall Street Journal, companies restructure and reorganize to cut costs which often translates to reducing headcount. When I spoke to a couple of laid off Genesys employees last year, none of them mentioned anything about the leading part. Either management did not convey this top-down, or maybe it was just a reaction to the global economic meltdown? There’s really no shame in admitting that — everybody’s hurting these days. But luckily for my ex-Genesys friends, they have since found jobs with competitors. (Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Whoever gets laid off in telecom, stays in telecom. It’s true.)
Alcatel-Lucent is in the global telecom equipment business. In terms of its $8 billion market cap, it is dwarfed compared to its well-known competitors: Nokia ($52 billion), Motorola ($15 billion), Siemens ($79 billion), Cisco ($130 billion), and Ericsson ($32 billion). However, it did strike gold with the Genesys acquisition. It bought the #1 contact center software company with an established worldwide customer base, and leaves all the aforementioned competitors in the dust when comparing contact center sales. The strategy then, of course, is to tie ALU hardware sales to Genesys software:
It’s a no-brainer. Oh, I remember fondly of the (supposedly) first U.S. integration between an Alcatel-Lucent PBX and Genesys CTI. It was somewhere in sunny, humid south Florida during summer, and I was working with a senior Genesys consultant. At the time Genesys was already part of ALU, but amazingly the PBX shipped with an E1 telephony interface card so my poor PM had to authorize the purchase of a T1 adapter. To further our amusement, the PBX came with French manuals and the console was dotted with nothing but French. We all wished then we had paid more attention in high school French class…
But I digress. In order to align the sales resources between the parent and child companies, ALU had to obtain more control of Genesys. Not to say that Genesys was a runaway company, but it was the best and logical business decision. And when former President and CEO Wes Hayden left for Nuance (and now President of LiveOps), CTO Paul Segre was a good fit to lead Genesys because of his past history with Alcatel (VP and GM of Wireline Access business unit).
Much has improved in the ALU-Genesys technology integration. Just recently I was on such a project and it was a pleasant surprise. It wasn’t like fitting a square peg into a round hole anymore. Even the PBX technician swore by the ALU switch, “I enjoy working on it more than the Avaya,” he’d told me. That spoke volumes especially coming from a seasoned PBX tech. Definitely kudos to the ALU and Genesys engineers.
So what else does Genesys have in store for CTI fanatics? The elusive Genesys 8 makes an (updated?) appearance (hmmm, didn’t I see it last year at G-Force Orlando?):
Quite a combo meal indeed. What does this mean for implementations? Will the team have to deal with three different vendors? It’s already a major task just to get to Genesys Tech Support (upgrade, send logs, we’ll call you back), I’d hate to be on the field putting in Genesys 8 and having to work with engineers from Lithium and InQuira also. Even if it’s cool that tweets can get routed in G8. (Really nothing major considering emails and faxes can get routed already.)
Of course, the obligatory but nonetheless intriguing Apple iPad reference, note that Apple is a Genesys customer:
Sigh. Apple’s coolness factor has just gone down a notch. We all know the iPad isn’t for serious business — games, games, games!!! Okay, and ebooks! And by ebooks I mean comics! (Dilbert would look great on a contact center iPad.)
As I had posted before, Genesys is ready to pounce on Nortel customers. Nortel customers can probably negotiate a good deal now. Yet not sure how else to put in an ALU switch without rip and replace? ALU would want to sell the hardware.
Later there was an NDA segment which barred those in attendance to disclose juicy information. Wonder what it is? I’m thinking an embedded chip which can be injected under you skin that contains all your preferred IVR menu option trees. So whenever you pick up a phone to dial an IVR, just put the speaker near the chip (don’t embed it near your eye ’cause then you’d look like an idiot) and it will automagically navigate through the system to get you to an agent. In other words, the chip emits a DTFM tone of zero. #rumor #secretproduct
There’s a lot more information from these top industry analysts. Again, to follow the complete Twitter conversation, search for #GenesysAR. If you love to hate or hate to love Genesys, then you owe it to yourself.